Palestinian 'cabinet to resign'

Shake-up of cabinet has long been demanded by Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority PM, and other members of Fatah.

    The PA, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has announced it wants legislative and presidential elections by September [AFP]

    The cabinet of the Palestinian Authority (PA) will tender its resignation on Monday after which Salam Fayyad, the prime minister, will select new ministers, according to political sources.

    The shake-up, disclosed on Sunday, has long been demanded by Fayyad and others in the Fatah faction.

    Al Jazeera's Cal Perry, reporting from Jerusalem, said that the cabinet will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to decide about the resignations.

    "The weekly cabinet meeting that usually takes place on Tuesday has been brought forward one day, and it seems likely that this reshuffle will take place."

    The planned move follows the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to a popular revolt that has set off calls for reform throughout the Arab world.

    "There will be massive change in the composition of the government," one political source said of the planned resignations in the PA, which was formed under 1993 interim peace deals with Israel.

    Another source said: "Dr Fayyad will immediately start his discussion with the factions to form the cabinet. Some ministers will keep their portfolios."

    Bankrolled by international donors and engaged in security co-ordination with Israel, the PA has a limited mandate in the occupied West Bank, while its rival Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

    The credibility of the authority has been further sapped by long-stalled negotiations with Israel on an accord founding a Palestinian state. Hamas spurns permanent co-existence with Israel.

    Of the 24 posts in Fayyad's cabinet, only 16 are currently staffed. Two ministers resigned and six are marooned in Gaza. Of those present in the cabinet, some face allegations of incompetence.

    The PA announced on Saturday it would seek new legislative and presidential elections by September.

    Hamas has rejected the call and said it would not take part in the poll, nor recognise the results.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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